No matter what we do, the rain will always be a part of cycling.
In the end, all we can do is to be prepared and to face it at any given moment
Cycling ponchos are one of the best and most popular options for solving that purpose.
In short, ponchos are excellent for those riding in the rain who are looking for something lightweight and breathable that can keep them completely dry at the same time.
I know that they may seem a little funny at first glance but these ponchos are really effective and can solve many cycling problems.
Table of Contents
Benefits of a Cycling Poncho
First, let’s start with the benefits of riding a bike with a poncho.
A cycling poncho has the advantage of having great breathability because it has a big hole underneath that lets all the air flow in.
That means you will not get sweaty as with other rain gear.
This is especially important when it’s raining in summer and you want something breathable which will not make you sweat.
Your Pants Will Be Dry
The key difference between a cycling poncho and the classic rain jacket is that the poncho extent all the way to your handlebars making some kind of shelter.
That means you will be fully covered from rain, even your pants, and shoes.
Yes, you can use rain pants but no one really likes wearing them because they are just too bulky and it’s hard to pedal in them.
One more great thing about cycling poncho is that you can literally wear anything underneath and it’s pretty much universal.
Even if you are overweight it will fit you well.
Easy To Put On and Take Off
One more useful benefit when riding with a poncho I that you can easily put it on and take it off.
Imagine you are cycling and all of a sudden storm hits (which happens a lot), you can simply slide it over your head and you are good to go.
Also, they dry off relatively quickly which can be useful if you’re in a hurry and you don’t have much time to wait.
You Can Use It Off The Bike
These ponchos are not just for cycling purposes you can also use them for off-bike tasks.
Like walking your dog or going to the grocery store.
Ponchos are very wide that you can even cover your backpack with it without any issues.
And they are usually much cheaper than a waterproof cycling jacket. Of course, there are some exceptions but for the most part, they are a bit cheaper.
Disadvantages of a Cycling Poncho
Now, let’s cover some downsides when cycling with a poncho.
One of the biggest downsides to cycling with a poncho is its poor aerodynamics.
As I said before cycling ponchos are really wide which is extremely bad for overall aerodynamics on the bike.
The more air that hits a poncho the more drag it makes.
It will slow you down by at least a few percent of your average speed.
Only Good For Road Cycling
Yes, you can go offroad with a poncho but it’s differently not ideal because of that loose material.
When you go mountain biking or bikepacking you probably often pass by some obstacles such as branches, bushes, etc.
And surely you don’t want to bother with that.
So I recommend leaving your poncho home that day.
Not So Good If It’s Very Windy
I don’t recommend wearing it when it’s extremely windy outside.
That baggy fit will flutter in the wind like crazy and it will pretty much just irritate you and distract you from the ride.
Sometimes, if the wind is too strong, it can pull up your poncho and let all the water in.
But that’s just for the extreme situations, for a classic storm, it’s perfect.
This one is more of a personal thing.
But for me, cycling ponchos look kind of funny.
It’s not a deal-breaker but if you really care about your appearance on the bike then this might not be for you.
Is cycling poncho for you?
Is cycling poncho for you or you should stick to a classic cycling jacket?
Cycling poncho is for bike commuters and slow riders who don’t really care about the appearance on the bike and they want something simple that will get the job done.
Does this resonate with you?
If the answer is yes.
At least think about buying a cycling poncho because it’s a great investment for your rain collection!